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Vol. 2, no. 1 Sept., 2015
Visiting Bulgaria this summer was an education in the legacy of communism, which brings death and oppression wherever it gains a foothold. Francis Schaeffer analyzed it well in “How Should We Then Live.” Communism has to bring oppression because it imposes an economic regime that is not rooted in reality and destroys natural incentives. The only way you can achieve an artificial equality of economic result is by force—and those wielding the force will not participate in the forced equality. Power tends to corrupt, and the absolute power required for the dictatorship, not of the proletariat but of the self-appointed elite acting in their name, corrupts absolutely. These outcomes are not avoidable; they are coded into the DNA of the system by its very nature, and not all the good intentions in the world can avoid them. The results in Bulgaria were unmistakable. What was built before the communist regime was villages that looked like English country villages from the Cotswolds, only with red-tile roofs rather than thatch, and cities that looked like European elegance--central Sofia could be Vienna, with Romanesque Orthodox churches instead of Gothic Catholic ones. These are both environments in which human beings could live with dignity. What was built during communism was universally ugly and dehumanizing: Orwellian factories (empty) and worse than Orwellian high rises (crammed full), sprouting like a cancer on the outskirts of the cities. The contrast was stark. What was left behind after the Marxist regime fell was cynicism. I was surprised when the Evangelical pastors in Sofia asked me to talk on Post-Modernism, thinking it a peculiarly Western problem. No, they said, they had their own version of it, the result of people knowing they had been systematically lied to by the communist government for two generations. The resulting cynicism about truth has opened the people to a philosophy that denies determinative meaning to texts, including the Bible. The genesis of their cynicism about meaning is different from ours, but the results are the same. Preaching the Good News that personal Truth has entered our history becomes harder when there is no concept of truth; discipling Christian converts into the meaning of the Text which records that revelation becomes harder when there is no concept of objective meaning. It is what Francis Schaeffer described as the loss of "true truth," now on the steroids provided by Post-Modern “theory.” It is no coincidence that Post-Modern scholars often also tend to be Marxists. Both systems have no place for any objective truth to which their results must be submitted; both subordinate truth to their social agendas, which become self-justifying. Evil supports evil and attracts it. The connection was hard to miss in that former Soviet satellite. And the damage takes generations to heal. Have no truck then with these two allied philosophies and yield them no quarter! They are both straight from the Pit.
Donald T. Williams, PhD
Harvey Solganick has written a Biblical Curriculum for Discipleship of Teenagers, “Postmodernism and Christian Worldview,” to be published by Southwestern Seminary, Fort Worth, TX 2015.
Donald T. Williams, “Text vs. Word: C. S. Lewis’s Doctrine of Inspiration and the Inerrancy of Scripture,” chp. in festschrift for Norm Geisler, (Wipf & Stock, 2015); “Expressing Emotion in Poetry: Grief and Recovery in Psalm 6,” The Luther Rice Journal of Christian Studies, Jan. 2016; “Anselm and Aslan: C. S. Lewis on the Ontological Argument” (reprinted by permission from Touchstone), Global Journal of Classical Theology, 2016; “The Justice of Hell,” Christian Research Journal, April 2016.
Michael C. Sherrard, Relational Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness, Respect, and Truth, 2nd Edition (Kregel Publishing, 2015).
Don Williams, “Discerning the Times: Why We Lost the Culture War, and How to Make a Comeback,” Christian Research Journal 38:2 (May, 2015): 24-30; “Unique and Dated,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 28:3 (May/June 2015): 5-6; “Apologetics with Love,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 28:3 (May/June 2015): 6; “Rightly Dividing Ezra,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 28:4 (July-August 2015): 6; “Worship Redirected,” Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity 28:5 (Sept./Oct. 2015): 4; “Pro: A Defense of C. S. Lewis’s ‘Trilemma,’” C. S. Lewis’s Apologetics: Pro and Con, ed. Gregory Bassham (Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 2015): 171-89; “Reply to Adam Barkman,” C. S. Lewis’s Apologetics: Pro and Con, ed. Gregory Bassham (Leiden: Brill/Rodopi, 2015): 201-4.
Harvey Solganick presented a paper, “C.S. Lewis and the Apologetics of Marriage,” at the Southwestern Regional Conference of the Evangelical Theological Society. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. April 15, 2015.
Don Williams presented a paper, “Honor and Shame: C. S. Lewis on the Doctrines of Anthropology and Hamartiology,” at Mythcon, the annual meeting of the Mythopoeic Society (for the study of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and fantasy literature in general) in Colorado Springs, CO, July 31, 2015. Williams also presented two papers, “The Theology of Tolkien’s Middle Earth” and “Lacking, Ludicrous, or Logical? The Validity of Lewis’s ‘Trilemma’” at the Gordon Lewis Center for Theology and Culture of Denver Seminary on Monday, Aug. 3.
Kathryn V. Camp just returned from speaking at an all-women’s conference hosted by Ray Ciervo Ministries. She saw the lights go on for many of the attendees and praises the Lord for the way He clearly moved these women to desire to become confident and active disciples for His kingdom. Several women signed up for Southern Evangelical’s new Apologetic Certificate Program. It was a great success. Camp will be speaking at the Women’s Conference just prior to the NCCA on the evening of October 15 about the plight of education in America. She will also be speaking at the NCCA on Sexual Diversity and the Bible October 16-17. Camp is also scheduled to speak at the Beautiful Females of Faith event to be held December 5, 2015. For further information about the NCCA conference, go to https://youtu.be/cWUOa6s0v_o .
Randy Douglass, Assistant Professor of Religion at Shorter University, spoke to the Dykes Creek Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia on Sunday morning, June 14, 2015. He spoke on the topic of “The Empty Tomb: Hoax or History?” Douglass presented the top ten theories for the empty tomb, and demonstrated how the resurrection was the most plausible conclusion.
Don Williams presented four lectures and participated in an “Open Forum” Q&A session while serving as Scholar in Residence at Summit Ministries, Session 6, in Manitou Springs, CO,, Aug. 3-15. Williams also presented the apologetics video “Mining for God” at the Tate Student Center of the University of Georgia, Athens, on Sept. 15, and was available for a Q&A afterwards.
A number of apologists will be at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 15-19, 2015. (http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/). Don Veinot will be there as press, Bill Honserger and several others from Haven Ministries will be there, and about 10 from SBC will be there as well. It is a really mission opportunity for those involved with apologetics and missions to cults and New Religious Movements.
The “Doubtless Faith” conference will meet at the MacLand Baptist Church in metro Atlanta Oct. 23-4, 2015. ISCA member Kristen Davis will be among the speakers. “An estimated 60%-80% of young people leave the church and never come back. Though the potential reasons for this are many, the fact remains that the Christian faith is not a blind faith, but rather it is both a reasonable faith and it is the only true faith. The goal of this year’s conference is to reach individuals who have already lost their faith and those struggling to retain their faith, in order that they might find renewed confidence in the Word of God, and to equip those confident in their faith with the tools necessary to share the Gospel with those whom doubt the reliability of Scripture.” For further information go to the conference website, http://www.doubtlessfaith.com/apologetics/atlanta-october-23-24-2015.
Greetings! I want to remind the members of ISCA that our submission due date for the journal is approaching quickly. The due date is January 1, 2016.
If you are interested in publishing an article in our journal, please send a copy of it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, however, to follow the guidelines: 1) I'm looking for your final paper, not a work in progress; 2) It should have footnotes, not endnotes; 3) All block quotes need to be indented on both sides; 4) It should be between 20-30 pages long; 5) It should be formatted in a Turabian style; 6) It should be related to apologetic issues and topics.
Bill Roach, Journal Editor
Important news! We announced last spring that our 2016 conference would be held at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Los Angeles, CA. Veritas has had to withdraw their invitation. Therefore, the 2016 conference will be at Toccoa Falls College in Northeast Georgia, April 1-3, 2016. The theme is “Apologetics in an Increasingly Hostile World.” Mark your calendars and stay tuned for further details as they become available!
Relational Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness, Respect, and Truth, 2nd Edition (Kregel, 2015).
Relational Apologetics is about your life becoming a defense of the Christian faith. Every relationship you have is an opportunity for you to connect people to their creator by displaying your hope, both in word and deed. Defending your faith is not just about answering questions and "proving" that God exists. It is about showing that He is real by the way you live. It is about demonstrating the power of God through your holiness. And it is about drawing people to Jesus through your kindness.
“Michael Sherrard has a pastoral heart and an evidential mind. He understands the critical role our personal lives have in communicating the gospel and he’s written a book to help others grasp the importance of our relationships when making the case for what we believe." --J. Warner Wallace, cold-case detective and author of Cold-Case Christianity and God's Crime Scene.
The Executive Council of the International Society of Christian Apologetics includes Donald T. Williams, President; Richard Howe, Vice President; Dan Guinn, Treasurer; Phil Fernandez, Secretary; Tim Adkisson, Webmaster; Bill Roach, Journal Editor; Norm Geisler, Phil Roberts, Kerby Anderson, and Win Corduan, Past Presidents.
Απολογια is a newsletter published quarterly for the members of the International Society of Christian Apologetics, Donald T. Williams, PhD, editor. Please send news of publications recent or forthcoming, papers, debates, etc. presented, preaching or other ministries, etc., to the editor (Microsoft Word, Times New Roman, 11 pt., single-spaced) at email@example.com. Short news articles, essays, or book reviews (400 words) on issues relevant to your fellow apologists are also welcomed. The deadline for submissions to the next issue is December 1, 2015.